Classic Flying Fifteen Restoration By Nick Carroll
How I got into Flying fifteens. I was going to cover my restoration but everything has a story so I may as well start from the beginning.
I was driving on the M6 from Birmingham back home to Southport when I saw an amazing Yacht well I thought it was a Yacht. It had Flying Fifteen written on its transom I was taken by its beauty! I had never seen a boat quite like it before as was only familiar with Enterprises Laser etc at my local marina being the Marine lake Southport.
When I arrived home I looked up Flying fifteen on the net and was enlightened to a new type of Dinghy.
A Dinghy? Really I thought it was a yacht!
This was over five years ago and the impression of the FF stayed with me. I looked on ebay and saw an F15 for sale it was a glass fibre Copland hull and deck with two sets of sails including spinnaker so bought it but I really wanted a wooden decked ff as they are a pretty boat but you have to start somewhere so this one was it.
The FF was picked up from a sailing club in Kettering and towed surprisingly well on the way home.
The FF is now parked outside my workshop. I`m an engineer by profession being on the precision and fabrication side. I had decided to do up the Copland FF by removing the anti foul paint from the hull and generally a little TLC with a view to sailing her.
6 months had passed and I looked again on ebay and saw a 1950s wooden FF in Donegal Ireland go for £127.00 ?? I nearly bid on it but didn`t as the cost and time to bring it back to UK was prohibitive.
It was in June that I noticed another FF on ebay just the hull on a trailer no mast or sails etc. It was a 1970 Wyche & Coppock with a wooden deck. I thought no I mustn’t as I already have one I then thought hang on I have an FF with everything required to set up this classic FF so why not! I bought the FF and picked it up from the other side of Southampton.
I have now removed the ply deck due to dried out wet rot at the transom end and also on the entry holes for the shrouds.
I have found out that the ff was manufactured in 1970 and its name was “Wind Spit” sale number 1341 Her name has now been changed to “Shamrock”
I decided to upgrade her and have had to do some homework/research on upgrades?? There is no available information on this for ffs? I will disclose this information in my later as this article progresses.
Removal of keel sand blast and re-paint with 2k urethane paint.
I had read that the Keel was a tricky thing to remove?? I didn`t understand this as it was very easy! Loosen nuts to just above thread use a drift 16mm round bar is good and hit it with a two pound hammer they pop when it stops on hull remove nuts and use either another 10mm bolt or round bar to drive the bolts out.
Prepare and re-paint hull in 2k urethane paint. Above water line black & below water line white.
Install Harness cable over the top of the rudder post internal Deck installation & enclosure to create built in buoyancy. I will show this as the re-fit progresses Set up mast adjusting cords and spinnaker cords etc to a central consul as new ffs are now set up . Install spinnaker chute. Make new rudder from hardwood set to new / current rudder angle. Modify existing rudder post tube to take rudder bushes from Ovington boats.